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#210953 - 25/03/2004 11:04 Har-dee har-har-har!
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I think it's just wonderful to see that America's leader has a sense of humor about his administration's failure to find WMD's in Iraq, or prove that they existed. But something tells me the humor might be lost on the families of the soliders who lost their lives trying to find said weapons.

I'm all for self-deprecation and laughing at one's mistakes, but this is a mistake which has ended in many American lives lost, and many dead Iraqi civilians. Come on, George, can you leave the WMD satire to Saturday Night Live and get back to the business of running our country?
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- Tony C
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#210954 - 25/03/2004 11:17 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tonyc]
trs24
old hand

Registered: 20/03/2002
Posts: 729
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
Yeah, I saw that article headline on CNN's website, and I didn't even want to click it. The idea of him, at this point, joking about the lack of WMDs is appalling.

- trs
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#210955 - 25/03/2004 11:35 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: trs24]
Geoff
enthusiast

Registered: 21/08/1999
Posts: 381
Loc: Northern Ireland
Surely this is the same dinner that both Clinton and Bush have previously used to show what comedians they really are?
This one is in particularly bad taste, it has to be said.

edit: looks like I goofed... the above links are for the White House Correspondents' Dinner, but Bush did act the comedian at the Radio & TV correspondents' Dinner in the past.


Edited by Geoff (25/03/2004 11:40)
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Geoff
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#210956 - 26/03/2004 10:42 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: Geoff]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
It just keeps getting better.

"The Democrats will go after anything," Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie told ABC. "The fact is that this is the custom in these things. Presidents have made jokes about very serious matters at these dinners. You can hear the laughter, the people in the room obviously saw the humor in it at that moment, and to play it back now in a different context is unfair."

First of all, because other Presidents in the past have done it doesn't make it right. Second, I seriously doubt these kinds of jokes were made over "serious matters" that resulted in GI's coming home in body bags. That's where a line has to be drawn. This is a few steps beyond getting head in the oval office or raising taxes too much.
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#210957 - 26/03/2004 15:04 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tonyc]
DLF
addict

Registered: 24/07/2003
Posts: 500
Loc: Colorado, N.A.
What's funny is that you're the last guy who thinks the war in Iraq was fought over weapons of mass destruction.

D'OH!
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-- DLF

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#210958 - 26/03/2004 15:12 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: DLF]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Pardon?
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#210959 - 26/03/2004 15:30 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tonyc]
DLF
addict

Registered: 24/07/2003
Posts: 500
Loc: Colorado, N.A.
OK, I'll try again. Bush felt free to joke about WMDs because his audience understood that wars are not fought over such things. They are fought almost exclusively for emotional and economic reasons.
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-- DLF

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#210960 - 26/03/2004 15:32 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: DLF]
BAKup
addict

Registered: 11/11/2001
Posts: 552
Loc: Houston, TX
Excuse me? When Shrub attacked Iraq, he said it was for the WMDs, but now he's saying that was never the reason why he started this war...If he would have been honest in the beginning, I'd not have a problem, but his actions caused the deaths of thousands of people, and now he's joking about the reason why he started it! Screw Shrub and the horse he rode in on!
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--Ben
78GB MkIIa, Dead tuner.

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#210961 - 26/03/2004 15:47 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: BAKup]
DLF
addict

Registered: 24/07/2003
Posts: 500
Loc: Colorado, N.A.
I agree: Screw Shrub and the horse he rode in on!

But I don't have a big problem with him lying about the reasons for the war, any more than I have a problem with the numerous lies told by Clinton, Bush Sr. or Reagan. I think we should be grown-up enough to recognize: ALL politicians are lying or will lie to us. We can't control it; it's up to us to decide if we like the ultimate results.
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-- DLF

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#210962 - 26/03/2004 16:50 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tonyc]
Geoff
enthusiast

Registered: 21/08/1999
Posts: 381
Loc: Northern Ireland
In reply to:

First of all, because other Presidents in the past have done it doesn't make it right. Second, I seriously doubt these kinds of jokes were made over "serious matters" that resulted in GI's coming home in body bags. That's where a line has to be drawn. This is a few steps beyond getting head in the oval office or raising taxes too much.



I have no argument with you there, that wasn't what I intended to imply. I think what I was trying to say was that once a 'tradition' like that gets started, everyone has to outdo the last guy. I think Bush totally misjudged that and overstepped the line between amusing and extremely distasteful. That quote above, "The fact is that this is the custom in these things", shows that it's probably more important to make the 'joke' than to actually consider the message it is going to send out.
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Geoff
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Mk2 Red - was 12GB, now 60GB

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#210963 - 28/03/2004 21:58 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tonyc]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Anytime I think I am too cynical, I realize that I am not cynical enough. Bush has pretty much exhausted my supply of disgust. The fact that he can joke about this....and that a roomful of presidential sycophants could laugh instead of gasping in horror.

OK, who still thinks that this guy cares? Who ever thought he did?
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Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#210964 - 29/03/2004 08:46 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: jimhogan]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3538
Loc: Columbus, OH
not addressed to anyone in particular:

What would your reaction be if Kerry had made the quip? Honestly. It probably would have been viewed as a good political jibe at Bush's expense.

C'mon, it's not like we haven't seen similar jokes on every late night show out there. Don't get your panties in a bunch over nothing.
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#210965 - 29/03/2004 08:58 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: JBjorgen]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
What would your reaction be if Kerry had made the quip?
Kerry's not the one who lied to an entire planet about the it in the first place. Bush is.
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Tony Fabris

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#210966 - 29/03/2004 09:01 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tfabris]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3538
Loc: Columbus, OH
The question stands...
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~ John

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#210967 - 29/03/2004 09:08 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: JBjorgen]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
The question stands...
If Kerry had made the joke, I would have thought it was only slightly inappropriate because he's in competition for the presidency. But otherwise, a fair enough joke.

For Bush to make the joke, it's about as funny as Jeffrey Dahmer making a "tastes like chicken" joke. Only funny if it's someone else saying it.
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Tony Fabris

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#210968 - 29/03/2004 09:11 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: JBjorgen]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5620
Loc: London, UK
The question stands...

So, I imagine, does the answer.

It's fine for comedians to joke about Bush's actions, Clinton's actions, or even OJ's actions.

It's not fine for the perpetrator to joke about them.
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#210969 - 29/03/2004 09:13 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: JBjorgen]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
I think that it would be in poor taste, but not as astoundingly poor as when Bush did it. When anyone else makes a joke about it, it's satire. It becomes satire in definitely poor taste when you become as close to the situation as a presidential candidate. When you're the person who sent hundreds of people to their deaths (not to mention the Iraqis killed) because of it, it makes light of it in a totally unacceptable way. How can he think it's funny that he sent those people to die for something he can't find? After all, he cannot be, or at least shouldn't be, satirizing himself -- he finds it funny, apparently.

If you ran into someone on the road and killed them, would you find it funny to make fun of yourself for not being able to drive? In my opinion, the man should be fighting back tears. Hell, he should be even if they did find WMD. People are dead because of his blunder, and this just reinforces the idea that he doesn't care -- that this is what he intended to happen all along.

(For the record, I'm going to vote for John Kerry in November, but I do not like John Kerry. He's definitely the lesser of two evils, but much lesser. At least we have vaguely similar ideas on how to run this country.)
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#210970 - 29/03/2004 09:21 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: Roger]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
It's not fine for the perpetrator to joke about them.
I'll take a slightly different tack on this. I think it's not funny for the perpetrator to joke about them. I don't think I'm ready to debate the point of whether it was fine to make the joke. I like to believe that a joke is a joke, and one shouldn't try to read anything into it, but an example like that makes me question that point of view.

But just for a moment, let's play devil's advocate and say that Bush Honestly Thought Saddam Was Building Nukes And Wasn't Lying When He Said So. In that case, the joke is merely unfunny rather than in exceptionally poor taste. And, actually, if you think about it, that joke might help reinforce his position, if in fact that's his position (still?).
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#210971 - 29/03/2004 09:29 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tfabris]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3538
Loc: Columbus, OH
But just for a moment, let's play devil's advocate and say that Bush Honestly Thought Saddam Was Building Nukes And Wasn't Lying When He Said So. In that case, the joke is merely unfunny rather than in exceptionally poor taste. And, actually, if you think about it, that joke might help reinforce his position, if in fact that's his position (still?).
Appreciate the honesty. That's more or less where I'm at, and why it doesn't bother me too much. My initial thought was, "well, at least he knows he screwed up in a big way and doesn't mind a little self-deprecating about it."
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~ John

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#210972 - 29/03/2004 10:05 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: JBjorgen]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Appreciate the honesty. That's more or less where I'm at, and why it doesn't bother me too much. My initial thought was, "well, at least he knows he screwed up in a big way and doesn't mind a little self-deprecating about it."
I've pretty much stayed out of this thread and will likely continue to, but I appreciate that Bush can admit to his failings. I'm still not a huge fan, but I don't find this self-depreciation nearly as offensive as most of you appear to. I do submit, however, that to those who hate Bush just about anything he does will be offensive.
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-Jeff
Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

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#210973 - 29/03/2004 20:31 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: JeffS]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5402
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
I'm still not a huge fan, but I don't find this self-depreciation nearly as offensive as most of you appear to.

What I find offensive is not the self-deprecation, but what appears to be an attempt to minimize and gloss over the consequences of his mistake. If, indeed, it was a mistake and not a deliberate ego-driven personal vendetta against the man who tried to kill his daddy.

Here he is, saying in effect, "Oh, gosh, golly gee. I guess there weren't any weapons of mass destruction there after all. Isn't that a hoot. Oh, well, better luck next time. Ha ha..."

How many thousands of people died. How many tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people have had their lives and livelihoods irreparably damaged? Oh, yes, that's a real hoot, all right!

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#210974 - 29/03/2004 21:26 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tanstaafl.]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
That's the notion I couldn't quite wrap my mouth around. Thanks.
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Bitt Faulk

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#210975 - 29/03/2004 22:08 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: JeffS]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
but I appreciate that Bush can admit to his failings.

2004 seems like it is bucking to be the year of "wardrobe malfunctions" -- of deep, insincere, inadequate regret for "what happened out there". Not much mention of being sorry "for what I did". It's all 3rd person regret --- must have been cosmic rays, foreign object damage or a glitch or something.

I don't see Bush's grotesque monkeyshines as admitting to his failings in any serious way. If he had any sense of his responsibility for the thousands of deaths and maimings trailing in the wake of his deception or fuzzy-headed WMD delusion, I can not see how he could make light in this way. Rather, I think we have somebody who thinks "Well, shucks, things are going pretty OK for George and my buds. This is just one small thing". I think it was Lewis Lapham who insightfully painted an hyperbolic picture of Bush, having just burned down his prep school dormitory with a prank gone awry, offering a contrite half smile to the headmaster as the headmaster delivers an obligatory verbal spanking. George waits patiently for the tirade to conclude. George can afford a half smile. He knows he's not getting expelled. His Dad is the school's biggest donor.

So George promises not to ever burn down the dormitory again. And he can afford a few jokes about the dormitory with his buddies. "I mean, what's a little dormitory? Everything else is going peachy."
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Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#210976 - 29/03/2004 22:11 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: wfaulk]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
That's the notion I couldn't quite wrap my mouth around. Thanks.
Ditto. "Glossing over" is the perfect way to explain GWB's cavalier attitude towards sending troops to die. I am absolutely fine with armed conflict when it's necessary to ensure our nation's safety or the safety of our allies. But it makes me ill to see GWB draw humor from 500+ of our soldiers dying in vain.
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- Tony C
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#210977 - 29/03/2004 22:14 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: jimhogan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
2004 seems like it is bucking to be the year of "wardrobe malfunctions" -- of deep, insincere, inadequate regret for "what happened out there". Not much mention of being sorry "for what I did". It's all 3rd person regret --- must have been cosmic rays, foreign object damage or a glitch or something.
Wow. Equating shrub's warmongering with Janet Jackson's teet. That's deep, man! (and quite profound.)
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- Tony C
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#210978 - 29/03/2004 22:20 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tonyc]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Wow. Equating shrub's warmongering with Janet Jackson's teet. That's deep, man! (and very profound.)

Just me rambling. I *am* struck with the procession of mealey-mouthed half apologies in 2004 from the likes of the Jacksons, Bertuzzis, and all. But however much disdain I feel toward them, I can't really get myself to *hate* a Bertuzzi. I mean, all he did was break a guy's neck.
_________________________
Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#210979 - 30/03/2004 06:45 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tanstaafl.]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
What I find offensive is not the self-deprecation, but what appears to be an attempt to minimize and gloss over the consequences of his mistake.
Yeah, I understand that. And while we could burn up another thread talking about motive and all things Iraq, the bottom line is that I don't agree that Iraq was a bad move. I just don't like the way Bush has handled it. So I see bad handeling as something worth having humor about (as the way he handled it didn't cost lives; the war itself, which I still support, is what cost lives).
How many thousands of people died. How many tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people have had their lives and livelihoods irreparably damaged? Oh, yes, that's a real hoot, all right!
Bush aside, Iraq has been and continues to be a large source of comedic material for many. If it isn't funny because of all the people who have died, it shouldn't be funny no matter who's making the joke.
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-Jeff
Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

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#210980 - 30/03/2004 07:00 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: JeffS]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4153
Loc: Cambridge, England
If it isn't funny because of all the people who have died, it shouldn't be funny no matter who's making the joke.
But if someone else thinks it's funny that there are no WMD, it's poking fun at the administration for being stupid. If the administration thinks it's funny that there are no WMD, it's poking fun at the electorate for being stupid enough to believe them in the first place.

I've linked this before, but it may be that Bush's only mis-step has been to be President at a time when for some reason a nation of Captain Renaults are feeling shocked -- shocked -- that politicians are lying to them. Which part of the phrase "two-faced duplicitous lizards the bloody lot of them" are people suddenly not understanding?

Peter

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#210981 - 30/03/2004 08:33 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: JeffS]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I just don't like the way Bush has handled it. So I see bad handeling as something worth having humor about (as the way he handled it didn't cost lives; the war itself, which I still support, is what cost lives).
Jeff, you always bring some really valid, logical debates to the table around here, and I really respect the fact that you stick up for what you believe in, whether it be on a political matter, a religous matter, or whatever else we might be talking about. But this seems to be a blatant example of splitting hairs and using a technicality to defend your position. To separate the war itself from "the way Bush handled it" is silly, because Bush is the one who made the war happen. The two concepts are inseparable.

Furthermore, the statement "the way he handled it didn't cost lives" is ludicrous! We're talking about the Commander In Chief here. The leader of our military. While he obviously isn't drawing out battlefield maps, he is absolutely the one single person on the planet responsible for every action or reaction that comes from the war he brought to Iraq. I think he might have even said that at some point or another. It's a simple fact of our government that the President gets all the credit for the good decisions, and all the blame for the decisions that are questioned. So I really think it's disingenuous to somehow say that Bush was responsible for the decision to go to war, but anything that happened after that was just the result of some intangible idea like "the fog of war" or whatever it is you mean by "the war itself, which I still support, is what cost lives."

Your argument sounds, to me, equivalent to saying a tank commander is responsible for firing the tank's guns, but the tank rounds are really what kill people, so if he kills an innocent civilian, he's not responsible. Bush "pushed the button" on this war, and he's not suddenly out of the picture now that the war is on. It's his job (along with his very war-tested cabinet) to know all of the scenarios going into a war, and be willing to accept them. To now make light of it while GI's are still coming home dead is inconscionable.

I'm sorry if I'm ratcheting up the volume on this debate a little, but your argument is a perfect example of Jim's "wardrobe malfunction" theory... "Oh, I started the war, yes, give us credit for liberating Iraq... But, oh, no, the guns and the bombs and the dead people and all that nonsense, well, that's just what happens with war, that's not my fault at all." If that's not what you're saying when you try to separate the war and "the handling of the war," could you please elaborate?
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#210982 - 30/03/2004 08:55 Re: Har-dee har-har-har! [Re: tonyc]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4153
Loc: Cambridge, England
If that's not what you're saying when you try to separate the war and "the handling of the war," could you please elaborate?
I read FerretBoy as saying "The war was a Good Thing but the PR was mishandled causing everyone to oppose it; this mishanding of PR was a Bad Thing."

Peter

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